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Cincinnati Chili Dogs

My in-laws are from Ohio, so we have Cincinnati chili at many of our family gatherings. I spiced up this family classic with cinnamon and cocoa powder and ladled it over hot dogs. It's perfect for game day, tailgates and potlucks. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 4 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped and divided
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 10 hot dogs
  • 10 hot dog buns, split
  • Shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir ground beef, crumbling meat, until no longer pink; drain.
  • In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine beef with one chopped onion; add next 8 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low about 2 hours; add hot dogs. Continue cooking, covered, on low until heated through, about 2 hours longer.
  • Serve on buns; top with shredded cheese and remaining chopped onion.
Nutrition Facts
1 chili dog: 419 calories, 24g fat (9g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 1135mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 23g protein.

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  • jahnvi
    Jan 22, 2020

    So nice recepie

  • Vicki
    Aug 18, 2019

    I am TOTALLY disappointed in TOH..............not only the buckeye recipe, but as I scrolled down the OHIO recipes, so many others are from non Ohioans. And I find the Cincinnati chili dogs recipe is from a person who lives in the state up north!!! REAAAAAAAALLLY ?????

  • Clyde
    Jul 9, 2019

    W-a-a-y too scant on the seasonings. Measuring in quarter- and half-teaspoons? No wonder it's bland. And where's the allspice? Too tomato-y for Cincy chili. And I KNOW Cincy chili.

  • PrplMonky5
    Aug 17, 2017

    At first my husband and I were disappointed in these. For some reason, this came out pretty bland and tasteless. It needed something that I can't quite put my finger on. We could taste the cocoa and cinnamon but it didn't add much to the chili. I let the leftovers cook a little longer and I also let them marinade in the fridge for a day. The next day I tried it again and it was a LOT better. Still not amazing, in my opinion, but much better than before. I'm not sure if I'd make this again, I think there are other chili recipes I like out there more, but this was still pretty good.

  • vewebber58
    Apr 3, 2017

    We made these as a special treat for the opening of the baseball season and they were a big hit! I followed the recipe as written......made the whole amount of chili using only five hot dogs, thinking we could use the rest for five-way chili the next day, but there was none left! Will definitely make again, and wouldn't change anything.

  • AllisonO
    Feb 11, 2017

    A great twist on the usual chili dog! My family really enjoyed this recipe. The addition of cinnamon and cocoa powder gave this dish an incredible flavor. I didn't even miss the spiciness of our normal chili recipe! (It's mild enough for kids who may not like some traditional chili recipes.) It comes together quickly with on-hand ingredients. I made it on the stove top instead of the crock pot and it worked beautifully. Two thumbs up!

  • jetluvs2cook
    Feb 8, 2017

    Very good chili dogs!! I added extra chili powder and some cayenne to give it an extra kick!!